World Boxing Council
- The World Boxing Council (WBC) was formed in 1963 and is based in Mexico.
- President: Mauricio Sulaiman
The World Boxing Council was initially established by 11 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela. They met in Mexico City on February 14, 1963, upon the invitation of the President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, to form an international boxing organization that would achieve the unity of all commissions of the world to control the expansion of boxing.
The WBC was bankrolled mainly by George Parnassus, a California promoter. Parnassus, who loaded his shows with Mexican and Mexican-American fighters of the lighter weight divisions, was tired of seeing his star attractions ignored by the pro-U.S. rating systems.
The groups that historically had recognized boxers as champions included the New York State Athletic Commission, the National Boxing Association, the European Boxing Union and the British Boxing Board of Control, but these groups, for the most part, lacked the all-encompassing "international" status they boasted of.
The Near Demise of the WBC
In early 1998, Roy Jones Jr. announced that he was relinquishing his WBC light heavyweight title to fight as a heavyweight. In response, the organization ordered a bout between German contender Graciano Rocchigiani and former two-division champion Michael Nunn to fill the vacancy, sanctioning it as a world championship match.
On March 21, 1998, Rocchigiani won the fight and a WBC belt: in the subsequent WBC rankings, he was listed as "Light Heavyweight World Champion." Jones, however, had a change of heart and asked if the WBC would reinstate him as the champion. In a move that violated nearly a dozen of its own regulations, the WBC granted the reinstatement. Rocchigiani received a letter from the WBC advising that the publishing of his name as champion was a typographical error, and he had never really been the official titleholder.
Rocchigiani immediately filed a lawsuit against the WBC in a U.S. federal court, claiming that the organization's actions both were contrary to their own rules and injurious to his earning potential (due to diminished professional stature). On May 7, 2003, the judge ruled in Rocchigiani's favor, awarding him $30 million (U.S.) in damages and reinstating him as a former WBC champion (Rocchigiani had lost a bout since his WBC title match).
The following day, the WBC sought protection by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (i.e., corporate debt restructuring) in Puerto Rico. The organization then spent the next 13 months attempting to negotiate a six-figure settlement with Rocchigiani, but Rocchigiani did not at first accept.
On June 11, 2004, the WBC announced it would enter Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation (i.e., business closing and total asset sell-off) proceedings, effectively ending its existence. This action prompted some in the boxing community to plead with Rocchigiani to settle the dispute, which he did in July 2004. Both sides agreed not to reveal terms of the settlement.
- African Boxing Union (ABU)
- Asian Boxing Council (ABCO)
- Baltic Sea Championship (WBC Baltic)
- Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE)
- Central American Boxing Federation (FECARBOX)
- CIS and Slovenian Boxing Bureau (CISBB)
- Eurasian Boxing Council (EBC)
- European Boxing Union (EBU)
- North American Boxing Federation (NABF)
- Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF)
- South American Boxing Federation (FESUBOX)
- World Boxing Council Muay Thai (WBC Muay Thai)